Saturday, March 12, 2016

Career Presentation @ James Fowler High School 2016

This past Thursday I did some presentations at James Fowler High School on what an IT (Information Technology) career is like.  I had a total of 3 presentations in the morning.  This was my second year presenting at James Fowler.  See this blog post for thoughts on my 2015 presentation.

The class I presented in (room 330 this year) held about 40 students.  The first two presentations it was full.  The third presentation had about 25 students.

I had my 'new, updated' presentation on, however the computer I was presenting off of crashed right before the first presentation.  Yay IT! -> that's a sarcastic comment.  We managed to get it up and running in short order and after that things went well....  Click on the image below to view my presentation.

Click the image to view my presentation
Some thoughts I had after wrapping up:

  • IT doesn't seem to be as interesting, exciting, or sexy as some other career options out there.  For example, the Calgary Police had to present in the gym (due to the amount of interest).  Here's some food for thought for people considering a career in policing (or  the fire department, or being an EMT):
    • These careers involved shift work.  While that might seem interesting for a young person, I'll guarantee you don't want to be working shifts for the rest of your life if you can help it.  Its hard on your body physically and emotionally, and it can be hard on your family. 
    • The fact that they are exciting correlates closely to the fact that they also can be quite stressful.  Can you deal well with a lot of stress?  Some people can, some can't.
  • I wondered how I could make an IT career a more palatable, exciting option for students.  Perhaps it was by demonstrating that some of the richest people in the world currently had made their fortunes with IT?  (Bill Gates, Kevin O'Leary, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, etc.)  Or maybe it was by showing that the next biggest threat to the world was cyber related?  
  • One of the big changes in careers in the last few decades has been the fact that irrespective of what career you target, you need to be prepared to learn for the rest of your life.  Technology is influencing and changing every career out there, and technology isn't going to stand still. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Lost in Life? Extraordinary is Waiting for You

For years I lived with the fear that I wasn't entirely following God's plan for my life.  I was trying to as best I could, but I thought maybe I wasn't hearing His direction good enough, or I turned 'left' instead of 'right' at a crucial juncture and as a result, I missed God's perfect plan for my life.  Recently, I've been realizing (to my relief) that this was wrong thinking and a wrong perspective.

Over Christmas I watched part of this teaching below by Kris Vallotton on 'God's Purpose for our Lives' and got a glimpse of something I hadn't seen before - God's grace in the direction of my life.

How did I see that specifically, you may ask?  Well, in part of this talk above, Kris talks about how everyone wants to be 'extraordinary' - to be seen as special.  Kind of like 'The Special' in The Lego Movie.  We all have had the desire (I think) at some point in our lives to feel that way.  I always felt I had to be in the centre of God's perfect plan for my life to feel extraordinary..... and I didn't feel like that very often, so I felt like I was, perhaps, missing God, or not hearing Him, or making wrong turns, or something.

However, Kris suggests in his talk above that God has me right where He wants me, right now in this moment.  That was a liberating thought for me.  However, Kris took it further and added that if I want to live an extraordinary life, to simply ask God to come and help me be and/or do extra ordinary things today with the responsibilities and tasks that I have before me right now.  Examples he gives in the talk above: David was a shepherd when God empowered him to kill a lion, a bear, and a giant.  The disciples were fisherman before Jesus called them.  Gideon was a farmer.  Ruth was gleaning (would you consider that farming?).  Joseph was a prisoner.  I'm realizing that God can meet me right where I'm at, right now in my life.  I don't have to worry or fear any longer that I'm not in the middle of His plan for me.  He has a plan for me in this moment and place.  All I have to do is ask for Him to come and join me.

I'm trying....   will you?